Last night's X Games Big Air unravelled into what was arguably the most progressive few hours of snowboarding in X Games history. Back in 2008, Torstein Horgmo took his first X-Games gold medal stomping what was, at the time, one of the most technical, cutting edge tricks in snowboarding - a switch backside 1260. Fast forward to 2010 and Torstein redefines snowboarding by stomping the worlds first triple cork. And here we are in 2013 where double corks are like, soo 2010, triple corks have pretty much become the norm and Torstein is once again able to assert his big air supremacy by landing another trick that has never been seen in competition - a switch backside triple cork 1440. SWITCH BACKSIDE ffs!
Torstein attempted the trick about halfway through the competition but couldn't quite ride away clean. Mark McMorris knew he had to step up his game to stay in check and went for another never been done trick in the form of a cab triple cork 1440 which he couldn't quite hold onto. On his last run Torstein stomped the switch backside triple and was awarded a perfect 50 by the judges while on his, Mark went for his cab triple but only managed a 48, which oddly enough, taking their best two scores combined, put the pair of them in a dead tie for gold. However, because Torstein's final score was higher, it was he that took the gold and the lion's share of the prize purse.
Up until Torstein and Mark McMorris dropped in for their final runs, it was Norwegian ripper Stale Sandbech who had been laying down the gauntlet, with a strong lead thanks to his first ever competition backside and frontside triple cork 1440s which would ultimately only see him in third place (a rather sobering fact in itself). Stale then opted to take his following runs a little easier, with tricks such as his ridiculously cool looking backside 720 mute to late method tweak:
Those top three runs were just the cream of the crop in a session filled with some truly mindblowing snowboarding. Ulrik Badertscher was hucking flat backside 1620s while Sebastien Toutant came close to landing a frontside triple 1620. Halldor Helgason stomped his lobster flip and double todeos before going for a triple backflip which he over-rotated, taking a nasty blow to the head in the process and ending up in a bloodwagon with a concussion. Of course he still managed to get his finger penis tattoo on camera while he was being carted off...
The fact that we've already seen more triple corks in 2013 than in the whole of 2012, puts a solid perspective on just how fast competitive snowboarding is progressing at the moment. And whether you think they're incredible or verging on the realm of SSX/computer game ridiculousness, it's safe to say that the trick is here to stay. It all started with Torstein Horgmo and for tonight at least, it ended with him too.